Monday, December 10, 2007

Snowman Amusement Park in the Works

MAALSELV, NORWAY – A small town in Norway's far north hopes to become the "snowman capital of the world" as it seeks a share of the lucrative tourism boom in the Arctic by building a snowman amusement park, organizers said.

The project is still in the early stages but will likely feature a snowman theme park "inspired by the Disney parks", a snow hotel, and open air activities across northern Norway's yet-to-be-determined [sic]. A group of peeved investors in Maalselv, a town of 6600 inhabitants located far above the Arctic Circle, decided there's no point in building infra-structure anymore and are hell-bent to compete with that annoying town, Rovaniemi, in neighboring Finland, home of the very popular Santa Claus' Village.

"The snowman is the authentic and natural character that you associate with winter. Santa Claus is a vulgar, commercial and plastic figure who is not recommendable for children," the project's mastermind Even Hegbom said. "The starting point is better here: we have spectacular landscapes, we're close to the fjords and the sea and high snowy mountains, while Finland's forests and piddily mountains are somewhat less impressive," he laughingly said.

Maalselv aims to make northern Norway a top tourist attraction in the region, outdoing Finnish Lapland which each year draws hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world who don't know better, including many Europeans — Britons, Danes, Germans and French — who occasionally make a one-day return trip to meet Santa Claus. The cost of the project was not disclosed but experts predict it would cost "an arm and a leg" with the projected plans expected to take at least 15 years to see the light of day, providing global warming is a hoax.

"The Finns made a mistake by positioning themselves on a market that only works a few weeks a year. We want to be operational year round," Hegbom said smugly.

Norwegian airport authorities have already begun the process of changing the name of the local Bardufoss airport to "Snowman International Airport," he added. The Maalselv Welfare Center is proposing a similar name change, minus the airport part.

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